Throughout history, the influence Jesus had on the lives of people has never been surpassed. No other great leader has inspired so many positive changes in the lives of his followers. People who encounter the risen Christ are totally transformed. Their outlook on life is altered forever. Staying true to their faith, they do not hesitate to face hardship, persecution and even death. Many consecrate their lives to serving others, minimizing their own needs and desires. Jesus was a revolutionary who fought for social justice, the dignity of human beings, and freedom for the oppressed.
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Jesus (Luke 4:18)
He's a HEALER.
In the book of John, Jesus asks a paralytic man an important question: "Do You want to get well?" (John 5,6). In this question, Jesus speaks not just of physical healing, but also emotional and spiritual healing. Throughout the bible we see Jesus leading a movement of healing, bringing life and freedom to all He encountered. Jesus is not just a religious icon, but an active healer bringing hope to all.
"... I am the Lord who heals you." - God (Exodus 15:26)
In his famous book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis makes the claim that Jesus could only have been one of four things: a legend, a liar, a lunatic--or Lord and God. There is so much historical and archeological evidence to support his existence that every reputable historian agrees he was not just a legend. If he were a liar, why would he die for his claim, when he could easily have avoided such a cruel death with a few choice words? And, if he were a lunatic, how did he engage in intelligent debates with his opponents or handle the stress of his betrayal and crucifixion while continuing to show a deep love for his antagonists?
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die" Jesus (John 11:25)
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at UC Riverside Worship, Bible Study, Small Groups @ UCR
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